Key Note

Are you a business owner in Singapore looking to expand your operations and reach new markets?  Considering entry into a new market or expanding an existing one overseas? The MRA grant offers the financial boost you need to make it happen.

This grant aims to help businesses enhance their international competitiveness and expand their footprint in new markets.

So, let’s dive in and explore how the MRA can support your business expansion goals in Singapore and beyond.

What is the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant?

The purpose of the MRA grant is to support Singapore owned businesses for business development, promotion, and set-up costs when you enter a new foreign market for expansion.

Due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, implemented enhanced grant support levels for a limited time period. This aims to promote the revitalization of the economy and aid Singapore businesses in building greater resilience following the pandemic.

Key Benefits of Singapore MRA Grant

The Singapore Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant offers numerous benefits for businesses venturing into international markets.

UP TO 50% OF ELIGIBLE COSTS COVERED

The grant covers up to 50% of eligible costs for Local SMEs, with specific caps for different activities and limited to a maximum of S$100,000 per new market and may include:

Currently, from April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2025, the grant covers up to 50% of eligible costs, capped at S$100,000.

Importantly to take note:

  • Each MRA grant application is restricted to one activity per overseas market,
  • No pre-approved vendors. However, companies should select a consultant from EnterpriseSG’s list for Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Trade Compliance consultancy services.
  • All MRA claims are subject to audit by EnterpriseSG’s Pre-Qualified Panel, with audit costs supported by EnterpriseSG, as per the Letter of Offer. Companies must ensure all necessary documents are submitted to their chosen auditor before claiming via the Business Grant Portal.

Eligibility Criteria and Requirements for MRA Grant

Following Criteria:

1. Incorporation and Operation in Singapore:

The company must be incorporated in Singapore and conduct its operations here.

2. Local Equity Ownership:

At least 30% of the company’s equity must be held directly or indirectly by Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs) or citizens, determined by ultimate individual ownership.

3. New to Target Overseas Market:

The company is entering a target overseas market for the first time.

4. Sales Limit in Target Market:

Annual sales in the target market must not have exceeded S$100,000 in any of the preceding three years.

5. Size Limit:

Group Annual Sales Turnover should not exceed S$100 million or Group employment size should not exceed 200 employees.

Supported Activities:

The MRA Grant supports various activities aimed at market promotion, business development, and market setup, including:

1. Overseas Market Promotion:

Activities such as Overseas Physical Trade Fairs, Virtual Trade Fairs, and Overseas Marketing and PR Activities are supported.

2. Overseas Business Development:

Supported activities include Business Matching and Overseas Marketing Presence, facilitating the identification of potential partners and B2B customers and conducting marketing activities in the target market.

3. Overseas Market Set-up:

This category covers Market Entry Support, which includes expenses related to advisory services, legal support, and documentation required for intellectual property application, as well as FTA and Trade Compliance Consultancy to ensure compliance with FTAs and trade regulations.

Application process for the MRA Grant in Singapore

How to apply for the MRA Grant

The application process for the Market Readiness Grant (MRA) involves several steps to ensure that businesses can access the support effectively and efficiently.

1. Register on the Business Grants Portal:

Create an account on the Business Grants Portal, the platform for accessing government grants in Singapore.

2. Complete Online Application Form:

Fill out the online application form, providing details about your business and the proposed market entry activities.

3. Provide Market Entry Details:

Specify the intended overseas market and the strategies you plan to implement for market entry.

4. Prepare a Comprehensive Proposal:

Develop a detailed proposal covering aspects such as target market analysis, competition assessment, marketing strategies, and anticipated outcomes.

5. Submit Application and Proposal:

Submit your application and proposal through the portal for evaluation.

6. Evaluation Process:

Your application and proposal will undergo assessment to determine their viability and merit.

7. Receive Letter of Offer:

If successful, you’ll receive a letter of offer outlining the terms and conditions of the grant support.

8. Accept Offer and Begin Market Entry:

Accept the offer and proceed with implementing your market entry strategies with the support of the MRA grant.

This step-by-step process guides businesses through applying for the Market Readiness Grant (MRA) in Singapore, from registration to receiving grant support for international expansion.

Timeline for the MRA grant

Week 1

It usually takes 1 week for us to finalise our proposals to be MRA-ready.

Week 7 to 13

Due to a large number of applications submitted, it takes 8-12 weeks to process rathen than the usual 6-9 weeks.

Reach our Representatives

We are not allowed to apply on behalf of applicant companies but we can assist with your advisory and preparation of required documents.

Sale repersentative for business expand oversea internation market entry with MRA Grant

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Tax Incentives for Singapore Businesses

Singapore’s tax incentives play a crucial role in fostering business growth and international expansion. These incentives are design to attract foreign investment, promote innovation, and enhance competitiveness in the global marketplace. Key aspects of Singapore’s tax framework include:

Your Questions, Answered

We’ve handpicked the top questions that we get asked a lot when it comes to MRA Grant in Singapore.

To apply for the Singapore Market Readiness Assistance Grant, there are several required documents that need to be submitted. The purpose of the MRA grant is to support SMEs in their overseas expansion and market set-up activities. This includes providing consultancy services and business matching in the selected market. The MRA grant can be obtained as long as the company meets the criteria set by Enterprise Singapore and has a clear plan for their overseas expansion.

  1. First, the SME must confirm their business activity on their BizFile before applying.
  2. Secondly, the company’s financial statements need to be provided.
  3. Additionally, a quotation and proposal from a vendor is also necessary.
Directors registered under ACRA cannot claim salaries under the MRA grant when posted overseas.
Yes, Singapore permanent residents (PRs) are considered locals and are able to apply for the MRA grant, fulfilling the 30% local shareholding.
No. Once you have started any work (e.g. company name search) before the Letter of Offer, your application will be voided and you will not be able to claim.
All claims can only be done once the business expansion project ends and has to be done within 3 months from the project end date.

Companies have to appoint an independent auditor to verify all the expenses and provide the relevant supporting documents. If the company engages an ESG-appointed auditor, you will receive an audit grant fee, capped at S$500, or 70% of the audit fee.

After the project end date, a typical audit takes 1-2 weeks to complete before you can submit to ESG for claims.

If you use the MRA grant for salary payments of 12 months, you can only claim after 12 months and all salary payments are disbursed.

Applying correctly can cover all costs because MRA does cover marketing activities in any new markets. We would suggest that each country should have its quotation and submit multiple submissions accordingly. Otherwise, EnterpriseSG officers may pro-rate your grant according to the country at hand.

Due to the large number of applications submitted, it takes 8-12 weeks to process rather than the usual 6-9 weeks.
The maximum grant amount of S$100,000 is applicable to each distinct entity/business during the period. Enterprise Singapore will assess the applications according to the internationalization strategies of the applicant company. The authorities will consider any separate applicant companies with comparable business registration information (such as type of business, location, shareholders/directors, etc.) as related enterprises. They will subject these companies to a combined grant limit of S$100,000 during the period.

How we assist you:

  • MRA support consultancy services via face to face, WhatsApp, E-mail etc communication channels for questions and answers.
  • When it comes to quotations, we offer feedback to ensure that the content is clear and understandable.
  • For business plans, we provide feedback on specific areas such as market position that will enhance your submission on BGP.
  • When reviewing grant application form in the BGP, we check the amount supported, all dates, numbers, and details for accuracy and consistency.
  • We maintain a 2-layer security process by collaborating with SME center officers for their expertise and vetting.

After approving the grant, we also guide you through the claims process via the business grant portal. There will be an audit grant fee of S$500. MRA claims are subject to approval.

A newly established company may face challenges in establishing eligibility, as stakeholders may perceive the project as not viable. However, if an established brand or business is creating a new company for a project abroad, they can provide an explanation and obtain approval.

For instance, a local company in Singapore, Mr Mala Hotpot Pte Ltd, established a new subsidiary, MH Franchise Pte Ltd, for the purpose of business matching in China. The company can leverage its strong support from the parent company to demonstrate the feasibility of the project.

Newer companies aged one year or less may find it challenging to obtain the MRA because the authorities consider financial statements from the past year. However, strong performance in Singapore within a shorter timeframe boosts confidence in the application.

Applying for a dormant company isn’t advisable unless backed by an existing brand/business (e.g., a subsidiary or related company) to explain the situation and demonstrate the feasibility of expansion.

For example, an existing local Singapore company Trading Hotpot Pte Ltd has had a dormant subsidiary THC Pte Ltd not in use due to lack of overseas projects. Now that THC is prepared to extend their intellectual property into China, they can leverage the support of their parent company to showcase the project’s feasibility.

MRA GRANT ARTICLES

Access guides and content on MRA and business expansion below.

Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant – Top 10 FAQs By SMEs

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Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant – Top 10 FAQs By SMEs

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Why Choose Us as Your Preferred MRA Service Provider

Not only we can assist with your company set-up, but we also have a dedicated team to curate your marketing outreach strategy and do business matching services based on local market knowledge.

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